Building Green

Going “Green” is interpreted differently in many forms, products and industries. Here we will give you and overview of what it means to go “Green” when it comes to building your new custom home. Cascade Custom Homes and Design is a member of Skagit Island County Builders Association. Owner Jon Roberts has been on the Board of Directors since 2005 and was a contributor to the associations BuiltGreen™ program. A SICBA BuiltGreen™ home receives a certificate of merit and is awarded a 1, 2 or 3 star rating. The BuiltGreen™ rating takes into consideration site protection practices, recycling procedures, indoor air quality, systems and products incorporated into the home and the type of construction. Read on to learn how you can incorporate the BuiltGreen™ program into your new custom home.

SITE AND WATER PROTECTION

A plan to reduce the impact of development and the natural features of the building site is the first step you and your custom home builder will take towards a BuiltGreen™ home.

This plan will help prevent erosion, sedimentation and water pollution due to storm-water runoff. In addition the plan will conserve water and even protect water quality.

Other ways of outdoor water conservation include landscape design and innovative irrigation systems. Indoor water conservation can be addressed by selecting low-flow plumbing fixtures, radiant heated floors and tank-less hot water heaters.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

 

 

The design of your home and how it will be oriented on your building site has a great impact on how energy efficient your new home will be. Your custom home builder and their design team can take advantage of sunlight and cooling breezes. Natural light streaming in through windows during daylight eliminates the need to turn on electric lights during the day and passive solar can warm your home in the winter while prevailing breezes can cool your home in the summer reducing the heating and cooling load. In addition well insulated windows, doors, walls and ceilings help reduce energy loss, reducing your overall energy usage.

Many products have earned a blue ENERGY STAR™ mark. These products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and the US Department of Energy. Many ENERGY STAR™ products are available including light fixtures, HVAC, appliances and even home electronics. With the help of ENERGY STAR™ Americans saved enough energy in 2007 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 27 million cars — all while saving $16 billion on their utility bills.

Click here to learn more about ENERGY STAR™

SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

 

 

Using engineered products and waste-limiting framing options, your custom home builder conserves materials that would otherwise become waste. The effort of eliminating the amount of waste and having an on-site recycling plan during construction conserves our landfill capacities. With fuel cost at an all time high it’s important to consider using locally sourced products, minimizing fuel usage and transportation impacts such as air pollution.

To stay “Green” while selecting your homes finishes look for rapidly renewable, recycled, post consumer and salvaged products. Cork and bamboo are renewable resources as well as natural materials. Linoleum, also made of natural materials is a nice alternative to vinyl. The added benefit of these flooring options is the improvement of indoor air quality. They reduce or eliminate toxins found in common flooring options and they reduce dust that is collected in carpeting. It’s now common to find tile throughout a custom built home. Glass, ceramic and porcelain tiles containing recycled content are readily available. These tiles are very durable and will compliment your new home beautifully.

These are just a few sustainable items you can incorporate into your new home however many more products are on the market. Consult with your custom home builder and designer for additional ideas.

DESIGNING YOUR HOME

After taking all of these BuiltGreen™ practices into consideration really think about how you will live in your new home. Build a home that truly meets your needs instead of a home filled with rooms that will seldom be used. A more efficiently designed home would use fewer materials and save on heating and cooling conserving even more energy.

Lastly, consider designing a home that incorporates universal design allowing you to stay in your new home for years to come. As time passes you’ll be able to move through your home with comfort and ease and continue to live in the community you call home.

“Together we can ensure that there will be resources for future generations”

Cascade Custom Homes and Design